Madness - Complete Madness
This was the first album I purchased. I was growing up in a house that liked music, I had listened to my dads Beatles, Neil Diamond, Abba records but was ready to jump in on my own. As I did every Thursday night I watched Top of the Pops and on there were these cool guys that looked like they were having fun and belting out a song I made a mental note of as being Baggy Trousers. Saturday morning, I was down to Bobby Lumsdens chemist in Whitburn. Clearly Mr Lumsden had a wee side hustle of records, I had intended buying the single for 89p but dug deep and paid £4.50 for the album. When I got home I played it over and over. I even joined the Madness fan club. On the sleeve there were details of where to send your postal order. I also sent them a letter about me as I thought SAE was an Essay 😊 I received a patch, 3 pin badges and a newsletter, they didn’t comment on my SAE. This album was my first and you always remember your first but the ante was about to be upped as I had just seen an uber cool Irishman on The Tube strutting his stuff in the pouring rain!
U2 - Under a Blood Red Sky
When I saw the footage of Bono and his pals at Red Rocks belting out songs that blew my mind, I knew that this was a game changer for the young Dunk. Mr Lumsden did not have this album; this was a job for the big boys and HMV on Princes Street in Edinburgh did not disappoint. A live album recorded in the pouring rain, only 8 songs but every single one of them a 10/10 for me. Opens with Gloria ends with 40 and the 6 songs sandwiched in between are belted out with a mix of swagger, anger and downright showmanship. This was the band I was waiting for and this was the album that introduced me to the best band that has ever walked God’s earth. I was thrilled to find out that they had 3 previous albums so it was back to HMV to get myself Boy, October and War. I also decided that I needed a mullet and that black T shirt Bono was wearing. Yes I did cut off the sleeves.
U2 - The Joshua Tree
In my opinion this is the best album of all time and when it arrived U2 became the biggest band in the world. I remember listening to this album on hard rotation for the whole of 1988, a special year for me – passed my driving test, was working, Celtic double winners in their centenary year and I had the best ever soundtrack to boot, winning! There are 5 or 6 absolute classic tracks on this album, Where the Streets Have No Name, With or Without You, Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, In God’s Country, Bullet the Blue Sky, all outstanding songs all in the same place by a band at the top of their game. I understand that not everyone shares my love for U2 and Bono but I think most would admit that this was an absolute classic album. I have this album on my wall at home alongside the young pretenders to their crown from Manchester.
Oasis - What's The Story Morning Glory
When Oasis came on the scene, I instantly liked them, anthemic songs and swagger off the charts, this for me is their masterpiece. I have so many great memories with pals belting out Wonderwall and Don’t Look Back in Anger in pubs and houses over the years, my singing skills are at best 4/10 but I am 10/10 for effort and always game for murdering a song from this album. I was living in England at this time and had just become a father, the whole cool Britannia thing was in full swing and this album seemed to epitomise the feeling that was in the UK at the time or maybe I misremember that but it was how I felt at the time. Both my sons love Oasis and I will be gutted if I don’t get the chance to see them live again with my sons. Come on Mrs Gallagher get your boys round the table.
Killers - Hot Fuss
One of my favourite bands of the new millennium and this album provides us with the only track that is guaranteed to get me on a dancefloor, and I hate dancing, so thank you Mr Brightside. Never trust a man between the ages of 30 and 60 that does not know the words to Mr Brightside.
Smile Like You Mean It, Somebody Told Me, All These Things; great tracks from a great album. Having been lucky enough to see them on a few occasions they are brilliant live, and Brandon Flowers is one of the best front men out there. Listening to Hot Fuss makes me happy and evokes memories of happy times with those closest to me, I’m coming out of my cage and I’ve been doing just fine!
Paolo Nutini - Sunny Side Up
I can remember hearing Pencil Full of Lead on the radio then again on a TV show or movie, I really liked the song and found it was by a guy called Paolo Nutini, I assumed he was American and his style was very old school with a modern twist, New Orleans, maybe Nashville. Nope, Paisley’s very own. This album really is a classic and I wish he made more records, too busy enjoying himself from what I have heard, lucky boy. Scotland has produced some great artists over the years and Paolo is right up there with the best of them, alongside Calvin Harris he is in my view one of the best we have produced in the 2000s. Sunny Side Up is an album that I think in time will get way more credit than it does right now, very underappreciated, make your kids listen to this album, they will thank you later.
The Proclaimers - Sunshine on Leith
Full disclosure, I didn’t really appreciate this album at the time, like many I had stuck Charlie and Craig in the novelty artist pile, I was too busy trying to be cool in 1988 and liking these boys then was the seen as the opposite of being cool. I remember watching them on Top of the Pops and hearing the words “Bathgate no more” this excited me as this was my neck of the woods. I can’t exactly remember when I started listening to the Proclaimers but the more, I listened to them the more I liked them, the lyrics of their songs are exceptional and this album is their finest work. You will have listened to Sunshine on Leith itself but I challenge you to go back and listen to it again and listen to every single word, it is beautiful. I also urge you to check out YouTube with Hibs fans singing it at Hampden, if you have a dry eye after that then you are dead inside. One of the many things I love about this album is the shortness of most of the tracks, most around 3 minutes, no self-indulgence, in and out with a classic song and onto the next one. If you want a song to woo your other half, then get in amongst track 3 – I Met You. This album should be in everyone’s collection or at least 4 or 5 tracks on your playlist, the Proclaimers will enrich your life and they are SO cool.
Gerry Cinnamon - Erratic Cinematic
I saw young Mr Cinnamon perform at TRNSMT a music festival in Scotland, he was unknown to me and most and for some reason had been bumped from a small stage onto the main stage, bathed in sunshine around 2pm he wandered on stage, looked lost, had at least 2 goes at starting the song then started again, I had that horrible toe curling feeling you have when you watch a comedian dying on stage and then he struck a chord on his battered acoustic guitar then belted out his (now) most famous tune Belter, wow! This is a guy with no management, label, or any support, he doesn’t even have a band, he does it his way on his terms. Erratic Cinematic is a half hour album flash to bang, in and out no messing, if you have not listened to it then you are missing out. It is very Scottish centric so maybe it means more to us than those not blessed to being Scottish but please check it out, if nothing else you’ll love it for Gerry’s balls, he doesn’t subscribe to convention and that screams out at you in his lyrics. Diamonds in the mud is a song that never fails to pull on my heart strings every time I hear it, in fact I am away to listen to it right now, get in amongst it team!
Duncan is 49 years old and lives in Glasgow.
After a successful business career working and living in England Duncan returned to Scotland in 2015, he owns Scotland’s only professional men’s basketball team Glasgow Rocks who compete in the British Basketball League (BBL) Duncan also sits on the board of Partick Thistle FC. Interests are sport, music, film, travel and all-round good times.